Matt and Erin have a special guest on this podcast to help understand life cycle assessments. Dr. Kurt Rosentrater is an engineer and associate professor at Iowa State. Kurt explained the basics of conducting a life cycle assessment, including assumptions and resulting complications that come with this tool. They focused on a recent example looking at environmental impacts in four major crops. Here is the link to the paper so you can follow along with figures: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iop/erl/2015/00000010/00000009/art094016. The assessment showed freshwater ecotoxicity impact in soybean increased 3-fold from 2002 to 2012. The authors claimed the insecticides used to control soybean aphid was an important factor. Corn, cotton and wheat did not have a significant increase of impact over the study duration. Learn more about Kurt's research and teaching program here: http://www.abe.iastate.edu/kurt-a-rosentrater-assistant-professor/.
Today, Matt and Erin have so much to talk about in this episode. The multiple phone calls and people stopping by Erin's office can't stop the podcast. Lab members found a few soybean aphids in central and northeast Iowa. This is not too surprising because a few soybean aphids can usually be found in June. Populations are very low, but something to note as the field season continues.
The first soybean aphids of the year were found in northeastern Iowa. Photo by Greg VanNostrand.
The warm winter was helpful to those insects trying to overwinter in Iowa, particularly for bean leaf beetle. For the other crop in Iowa, corn rootworm egg hatch is peaking, stalk borers are moving to corn, and European corn borer egg hatch is also happening now. Then the conversation turned to millipedes - not a typical field crop pest. They talk about field conditions conducive to millipede injury, in addition to other emerging pests like slugs, snails and isopods. Finally, Matt reminded us Pollinator Fest is coming up at Reiman Gardens in Ames on June 25.
Random fact: Millipedes are arthropods within the class Diplopoda. They are distant relatives to insects and arachnids. People who study millipedes are called diplopodologists.
Millipede. Photo by David Cappaert, www.ipmimages.org.
Today, Matt and Erin talk about current pest activity in Iowa. Specifically, the last week was very hot (>90 degrees) and that isn't conducive for soybean aphid growth. So no new detection since the last podcast (but not surprised because aphids don't do well under consistently hot temps). Also, some alfalfa farmers are starting to see potato leafhopper injury. Matt heard about early twospotted spider mite injury in Illinois and that is a concern for extended hot and dry periods. Southeastern Iowa is abnormally dry right now and so be looking for initial spider mite infested along edge rows. Mite injury should not be confused with herbicide injury that is also starting to show up in some soybean fields. Finally, Erin and Matt talk about Pollinator Fest displays at Reiman Gardens. Erin will have the kids make Wikki Stik insects and Matt has prepared a honey tasting station.
Potato leafhopper (Photo by Marlin Rice) and classic "hopper burn" (Photo by Purdue Extension). To learn more about potato leafhopper, read this ICM News article.
Twospotted spider mite (Photo by Frank Peairs) and spider mite injury (Photo by Whitney Cranshaw). To learn more about scouting for twospotted spider mite, read this ICM News article.
Wikki Stik insect art for Pollinator Fest (Photo by Erin Hodgson).
Don't drought this episode was a good one. Matt shares an update on the Iowa drought and encourages people to use the U.S. Drought Monitor as a tool to measure landscape moisture levels. Matt and Erin transition and talk about pest activity around the state, starting with twospotted spider mite. Erin wrote a recent ICM News article that talks about scouting and managing this pest that favors hot and dry conditions. Spider mites can be first detected around field perimeters and then eventually infest the field interior. Discoloration, webbing and stunted plants are often the result of heavy spider mite feeding. Erin mentioned a new miticide, AgriMek, that has promise for suppressing mites in corn and soybean; find the label here. The conversation switched gears to talk about some corn silk clipping pests, like Japanese beetle and corn rootworm adults. Scouting to determine pest densities and potential interference with pollination is important. Learn more about Japanese beetle ID, scouting and management with an ICM News article.
Twospotted spider mite. Photo by Frank Peairs, www.ipmimages.org.
Bean leaf beetle. Photo by Marlin Rice.
Today, Matt and Erin cover a lot of topics. First, Erin summarizes her recent trip to Indianapolis for the 2017 North Central Branch ESA meeting. Lots of interesting papers and posters were presented this week. Also, the first confirmation of soybean aphid in Iowa happened again this week. It is typical to find aphids during early June in vegetative soybean, so listeners shouldn't be too concerned at this time. Other pest activity updates include more black cutworm and armyworm, plus a few bean leaf beetles and slugs. Matt follows up on the slug conversation by highlighting a recent interview with Penn State entomologist, John Tooker. As a follow up to the IRAC discussion a few episodes ago, Erin reminds everyone that the organization puts out a few helpful references on insecticide modes of action and resistance management.
Two events of interest coming up:
Pollinator Fest at Reiman Gardens is on June 24. It's free this year, so bring your family for some fun hands-on activities centered around pollinators.